On February 23rd, 2005, 20 years will have passed for the recording label that began in "Mr. Vandelly's Government class" at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA. Of the 200 plus members of the Teenbeat Mailing List, started on June 7th, 1998, very few of us were there at the beginning and each of us has our own story of how the music of the label has made itself part of our lives.
Some of us have paid tribute to the Teenbeat label before with contributions to Amateurs on Plastic: a Tribute to Teenbeat Records through interpretation of songs on the labels discography. It took two years and seven months for Amateurs on Plastic to see its release (bearing the My Mean Magpie and The Unlike Labels imprint) and even longer for it to make its way into the hands of all the participants. This release would be different.
The idea surfaced on November 11th, 2004 while I was in the process of archiving Amateurs on Plastic to the NetLabels website, the idea of a second volume arose.
One of the bands wanted to switch his song, I had a leftover track sent by The Linger Effect since the first release, and I had found an Eggcarton Zoo song online. I thought that with just one more song I could put a handy little 20th Anniversary Teenbeat Tribute EP together to commemorate the event.
Rather than call it Amateurs on Plastic: Volume 2, a the list was asked to vote on a few names. Relax Brother, Relax (named after Teen Beat 98, a "nudie matchbook" issued with Sexual Milkshake's Sing Along in Hebrew release) was tied with A Pale Impersonator (a lyric from the Egg's song "Government Administrator") and If Haitians Practice Voodoo, They're Mysterious. The Wedding is Over, (mis-heard lyrics from the Unrest song "Can't Sit Still") was a close third.
By this time, I had already begun work on the artwork (inspired by Teenbeat releases 50, 70, 85, 98 & 271) and picked my personal favorite Relax Brother, Relax as the final title.
In the coming weeks there will be a supplement issued containing a detailed booklet of "Essays, Appreciations and Annotations" on all the songs released with the tribute (including an essay by concrete poet / physicist Andrew Russ), which will give far more detail on the songs than anyone ever need know.
About the Recordings
All My Mean Magpie Releases are available in mp3 and a lossless CD-quality flac format. For converting flac to other formats try dbpoweramp (Windows/Linux) or xACT (Mac). For more information on the flac format, or to download the codec, click here.